What if mental illness became increasingly obvious in our newest President? Would the murmurrings which are already being echoed by respectable walls in the halls of similarly respected mouths become a building chant whose refrain sounded something like: '25 for 45!'
While this may sound like some obscure US history geographical slogans like 'fifty four forty, or fight!'--when old President Polk was grabbing the Mexican west coast up through British Oregon--it refers to the 25th Amendment. And while equally obscure to most of us, it has to do with a very different kind of fight, involving the most mysterious territory we all share a piece of, including our newest President, from the east to the west, north to south boundaries of our individual skulls.
Enacted after the JFK murder, it provides for the succession of power given incapacitation of the occupant of the Office of President, and is broad enough to have allowed for Ronald Reagan's possible removal nearing the end of his tenure given his early dementia symptomatology, as was rumored at the time.
While not as exact a science as physiology enjoys in general, mental health is every bit as important--indeed, recall FDR and how the power of his mind allowed him to overcome clearly steep impediments to governance. Here is what the best minds, pun unintentional, have to say, in major part, about a possible disorder being evinced increasingly by both day and degree by 45:
- 'A pattern of intense and unstable relationships with family, friends, and loved ones, often swinging from extreme closeness and love (idealization) to extreme dislike or anger (devaluation)
- Distorted and unstable self-image or sense of self
- Impulsive and often dangerous behaviors, such as spending sprees, unsafe sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, and binge eating
- Inappropriate, intense anger or problems controlling anger
- Having stress-related paranoid thoughts
- Having severe dissociative symptoms, such as feeling cut off from oneself...or losing touch with reality
While mental health experts now generally agree that the label "borderline personality disorder" is very misleading, a more accurate term does not exist yet.
And if the label is found misleading what of the entire matter of mental health in general, particularly given its dark corner afforded both in public discourse as well as treatment coverage within what may pass for healthcare in the US, how on Earth will it be seriously brought to bear in any such deliberations that may come? It is hard to see anything state of affairs beyond the sort of stasis we've witnessed on purely partisan political matters, given that this question would be the most paramount in both the political and constitutional crises it personifies---almost literally when it comes to Mr. Trump given his uniqueness in the nation's history.
Such a stalemate would be impossible to allow given international threats and obligations.
Of such stuff is nightmare known, and its name is, as James Kunstler has keenly opined, a soft coup d'etat by those of sound minds. (kuntsler.com/'Clusterfu*kNationBlog)
As unsound as 45 has been sounding, he may be right about those magazine covers, this time donning a straightjacket.